Microsoft’s Xbox One S All-Digital Edition joins PC gamers in a disc-less future

Xbox One S All-Digital Edition
Xbox One S All-Digital Edition

Ditching optical drive lowers console's price, but not by much

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17 April 2019 | 0

Consoles are a bit behind the curve when it comes to game distribution, with discs still the primary means of distribution for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Digital sales have slowly grown this generation though, enough so that Microsoft apparently feels comfortable offering an Xbox One without a disc drive. The rumoured ‘Xbox One S All-Digital Edition’ is indeed real, and was officially announced this week. It’s exactly what you’d expect, an Xbox One S without the optical drive slot on the front.

It’s due to release on 7 May for $250, or $50 less than the standard Xbox One S. Note, that’s an Xbox One S as in ‘Slim’, not the high-powered Xbox One X we were so impressed by in 2017. The S is essentially the original Xbox One under the hood, and the hardware is outdated at this point – the equivalent of an ancient Nvidia GTX 750 Ti or AMD’s antiquated Radeon HD 7850. The Xbox One S outputs 4K HDR video content and will up-res games to 4K. It will not run games natively at 4K.

Included with the All-Digital Edition are three games: MinecraftSea of Thieves, and Forza Horizon 3 and you’ll get a trial for Game Pass, Microsoft’s subscription service, enabling on-demand access to all its first-party content and a selection of older games as well.

If you plan to primarily use Game Pass and don’t already have an Xbox One, a drive-less model might be worth a second look. It’s early days for this experiment though. With a new console generation around the corner, the bigger question is what this All-Digital Edition indicates for the next Xbox.

We already heard this week that the PlayStation 5 will have a disc drive, meaning Microsoft could potentially undercut Sony on price by offering an all-digital option at launch, with a focus on Game Pass and the forthcoming Project xCloud streaming solution – and that could be very interesting indeed.

IDG News Service

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